Farms in the lower Wabash River region, from Terre Haute to the confluence of the Wabash and Ohio rivers, are major contributors to non-point source pollution—natural and human-made pollutants carried by rainfall and snowmelt. Each summer, this pollution contributes to the low-oxygen dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. A team of IU scholars seek to better understand southwest Indiana farmers’ experience implementing conservation management systems and adapting to environmental change in the lower Wabash River watershed.
The team is conducting semi-structured interviews with farmers and agricultural professionals working in the region in order to better understand farmer behavior and decision-making related to conservation management and adapting to increased flooding events. A better understanding of how farmers make decisions in these areas will inform scholars, professionals, and policymakers by providing critical insights into the coupled nature of human-natural systems as climate change impacts take a noticeable toll on this region.